According to the World Health Organization, 3.4 million people die each year from contaminated water, and that statistic in increasing, said Robert Carter, chairman of the Grove Rotary International Committee as he addressed the club members Wednesday.

Last year, the International Committee along with Grove Rotary members raised almost $30 thousand for a project that would help bring clean water to communities in Nairobi, Kenya, particularly schools.

Carter told the group the committee is launching the project again this year with the theme: Still working to change the world one glass of water at a time.

“Drinking contaminated water is the leading source for some of the major diseases: cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio,” he said. “In about five years half of the world’s population will be living in a water-stressed area.”

The project involves buying community sized Life-Straw water filters and placing them in schools. Each unit provides up to 100,000 liters of water on one bladder and filter. The unit has immediate access to 25 liters of clean water available from 4 taps.

“Many schools in developing countries don’t have access to safe drinking water,” Carter said. “Good water will reduce school absenteeism by preventing children from getting water born diseases.”

Availability of clean water can motivate parents to send their children to school. Carter also said children bring containers to take water home to the families at the end of the day.

The Grove Rotary project raised enough money to buy 100 units in 2019.

The club works with an organization who partners up clubs with the company that makes the units and then gets the water filter units shipped to the designated country they will be used.

The committee has also been discussing possibly providing some units to local emergency management and disaster recovery organizations.

The campaign officially launches on January 1, 2020 but when the meeting was over Wednesday, the club has already raised enough money from members present to purchase 15 water filter units.

“This club is absolutely amazing,” Carter said.

Anyone in the community wishing to contribute to the water project campaign can go to www.groverotary.org and make a donation or come to the meeting at noon on Wednesdays at Grove’s First United Methodist Church.